That Absalom's attitude of obeisance before David was feigned is proved by his conspiracy. That Joab cared nothing personally for Absalom is evident from his refusal to see him any further. Absalom's cunning is manifested in that he waited and plotted four years, ever attempting to turn the heart of the people toward himself. His unscrupulousness, moreover, was shown in that when everything was ripe for action, he proceeded to the overt act of rebellion under cover of religious observance.
Perhaps there is nothing more pathetic in the story of David than his flight from the city. Almost all the essential characteristics of the man were exhibited. Nevertheless, throughout we discover the note of the chastened and humbled spirit, which recognized the righteousness of the suffering following on his sin. His magnanimity was manifested in his suggestion to Itai, the Philistine, that there was no need that he should share the misfortune of his sorrow. Above all, his submission to God was supreme; he said, "If He say thus, I have no delight in thee; behold, here am I, let Him do to me as seemeth good unto Him." He left the city weeping, with covered head and barefoot, these things being the symbols of his penitence. Yet even here he was the astute and far-seeing man, as is evidenced by his leaving behind Abiathar and Zadok, the priests, and Hushai, his friend.
Second Sunday after Epiphany